Based on seizures by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the most used drugs in Georgia are meth, cocaine, xanax, oxycodone, and heroin, but the state also has issues with fentanyl and marijuana. Keep reading to learn how these drugs affect people in Georgia. 

1. Meth

Meth is the most abused drug in the state of Georgia. In the mid 2000s, meth was an issue in many parts of the country, but as law enforcement officers cracked down on local meth labs, use declined.

However, Mexican drug cartels stepped forward to fill the production gap, and they flooded the market with cheap meth. Within a few years, meth surged to new popularity. From 2005 to 2015, deaths from meth increased by 250% in the United States, and this problem was especially prevalent in Georgia.

Look at these facts about meth in Georgia:

  • While investigating a Mexican drug cartel based in Atlanta, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized 114 kg of meth, 25 gallons of liquid meth, and about $250,000.
  • In 2010, 65 people died from meth in Georgia. That number has increased every year since then. In 2017, there were over 200 meth overdose deaths in Georgia, and that number doesn’t even include all the counties in the state. 
  • Prices have fallen significantly. In 2005, meth cost about $200 a gram. By 2015, Georgians were paying less than $30 a gram. 

2. Cocaine

Unlike meth, cocaine can not be produced domestically. The drug is made from the coca plant, which grows in South America, and most cocaine comes from Columbia.

To learn how cocaine enters Georgia, look at these news stories:

  • In fall 2019, officials seized over 2,000 pounds of cocaine. Worth about $31 million, the 818 bricks of cocaine were the largest amount of drugs ever seized at the Port of Savannah. 
  • Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, officials seized 20 pounds of cocaine at the Atlanta International Airport. The cocaine was carried by four different travelers. Three travelers were from Jamaica, while one was from Brazil. Together, these seizures were worth $28,000.

Cocaine can make people behave irrationally and dangerously. While on cocaine, one driver lost control of her vehicle, ran off the road, and crashed into a culvert. Her actions lead to the death of three people and caused serious injuries to two others.

3. Xanax

When used correctly, Xanax can be very helpful for treating the symptoms of anxiety, but this drug also has a high potential for misuse and addiction. Although doctors prescribe this drug, many people also obtain it illegally, and possessing Xanax without a prescription is a crime.

Check out these stories about Xanax in Georgia:

  • During Operation Ace in the Hole, officials seized 600 grams of Xanax as well as several other drugs including MDMA, codeine, marijuana, meth, and cocaine. The 26 defendants all face federal charges for their crimes. 
  • After being stopped for a traffic violation, a Georgia woman was charged with a felony for having Xanax and ecstasy in her purse. She also faces misdemeanor charges for not having the Xanax in its original container. 
  • A drug dealer faces five felony charges after being caught with drugs in a hotel in Cumberland. He had Xanax as well as meth and mushrooms. 

4. Oxycodone

Although prescription opioids are not as widely used as meth and cocaine, these drugs cause more overdoses, and oxycodone is the most popular prescription opioid. In recent years, deaths from these drugs have dropped in Georgia, but the issue is still significant.

To learn about this deadly epidemic, check out these facts:

  • Between 2010 and 2017, the number of deaths from opioids increased by 245% in Georgia. 
  • Opioids cause about 2/3 of drug deaths in Georgia. 
  • From 2016 to 2018, opioid prescriptions dropped by 13% in Georgia. 
  • Many people receive opioid prescriptions from multiple doctors, but that practice is also decreasing. In 2016, 30.8 people per 100,000 received prescriptions from five or more doctors. In 2018, the rate fell to 12 people per 100,000. 
  • Tragically, 996 people died from opioids in 2017, and the next year, 873 people experienced fatal overdoses. 

5. Heroin

Unfortunately, as prescription opioids become harder to obtain, many people turn to heroin. This drug reaches all parts of society. Look at these stories to learn about how widespread heroin is in Georgia:

  • A Georgia police chief’s wife was arrested in a drug bust. Officials found 20 grams of heroin as well as several other types of drugs and paraphernalia in her home.
  • Heroin deaths are so prevalent in Atlanta’s northern suburbs that journalists have dubbed the area as the heroin triangle.
  • The Greenville Drug Task Force seized a kilo of heroin and arrested three people. All have a bail over half a million dollars.

If you are struggling with these drugs, you should reach out for help. To learn about options, contact a treatment center in your local area.


  1. Opioid epidemic. (n.d.)
  2. Redmon, J. (2019, August 24). Opioid prescription totals falling in Georgia amid deadly epidemic
  3. Regan, T. (2018, July 16). Meth, cocaine are the most commonly seized drugs in Georgia this year
  4. Sharpe, J. (2018, July 3). Meth, ‘the Devil’s drug,? is back and killing more people than ever
  5. Walker, D. (2019, August 30). Rome woman charged with possession of ecstasy, Xanax

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